PANJIM: Stating that the ruling Congress party has used reservations for the municipal wards as a tool to eliminate its rivals in the municipal elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party, on Monday, said that the real objective behind the reservations, of providing representation to the members of weaker communities in municipalities, is totally lost in Goa.
The Leader of Opposition and leader of the state BJP legislature wing, Mr Manohar Parrikar, speaking to this daily said that the BJP would however support like minded individuals and panels contesting the October 31 municipal elections.
“However, we cannot do much, as the reservations are targeted to defeat any opposition that comes in the way of the Congress supported candidates,” he observed, noting that one of the examples is the Bicholim Municipal Council, which, due to the reservation pattern followed, faces elimination of the major part of the present council.
“In fact, like in some other Indian states, Goa too should follow pattern wherein political parties participate in the municipal elections,” Mr Parrikar opined, further quipping, “The Chief Minister of this state should also be elected through public votes, and then we will know whom people prefer.”
The municipal elections in Andhra Pradesh are conducted at the party level. The Congress had emerged a winner by cornering 52 out of 150 seats at the Greater Hyderabad municipal elections, last year. The Telugu Desam Party, the BJP as well as the Praja Rajyam Party had contested this election.
Interestingly, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Ms Mayawati has recently issued a notification banning all political parties from contesting municipal elections in her state.
The notification, which has created uproar in political circles, further said that political leaders would not be prohibited from fighting the municipal elections; however, they could not do so under a party banner.
Meanwhile, Mr Parrikar along with the state general secretary of the BJP, Mr Govind Parvatkar met the acting State Election Commissioner on October 4 and demanded that services of employees from agriculture, health and craftsmen training departments should not be used for Valpoi by-election slated on October 18.
“These three departments are under Mr Vishwajeet Rane, one of the contestants at the by-poll,” they said, stating that there is every possibility of these employees succumbing to the pressure from Mr Rane.
The BJP leaders further demanded that the mamlatdar and joint mamlatdar of Valpoi be immediately transferred from their posts as they are from Valpoi and Mr Rane was responsible for their appointments, as also they would be participating in the by-poll process. (NT)


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